Comedian Neal Brennan has given a lot of thought to whether he is accepted into comedy – and if he even should be. Now he’s tackling those feelings of self-criticism, harsh inner monologues, and sanity in a new comedy show.
He is best known for co-creating Chappelle’s Show with Dave Chappelle, a critically acclaimed comedy sketch rooted in black culture.
But these days, Brennan wonders if he, a white man, is helping or hurting America when he makes these racial jokes.
“The tension is that it’s impossible to know if I’m making fun of stereotypes or encouraging them,” he says. Morning edition host A Martínez. “People don’t know your intentions. And then people will take the joke and put their intentions into it.”
Brennan has spent over two decades in comedy, writing, producing and directing with some of the biggest names in the business.
He is now presenting an off-Broadway theatrical comedy titled Neal Brennan: Unacceptable, in which he explores why he feels something is wrong with him. The show will run in New York City until November 21.
Brennan admits that using the word “unacceptable” can be a bit hard on himself.
“My inner monologue might just be rough. I never walked in front of the mirror and was like, ‘This is my guy.’ You know, it’s kind of like, ‘OK, alright,’ “he says.
Brennan has also been very open about her mental health issues. He says he’s not ashamed of it.
“It’s like having plantar fasciitis or something,” he says. “It’s not my fault. I don’t know. My foot just started to look weird.”
Brennan’s outspoken nature opened my eyes. During an appearance on The breakfast club, a radio show with millions of listeners both through broadcast and their online presence, host Charlamagne tha God told Brennan that Brennan had inspired him to learn more about health mental. Charlamagne is now a strong advocate for mental health education.
“I could be proud of it. Can you believe it? Brennan said. “Take this, this inner monologue. We might have done some good. “
This story originally published in the Morning edition live blog.